Overview top

A two week course designed to prepare students for assessment leading to the award of the GMDSS General Operators Certificate (GOC).

The GOC is the highest level marine radio qualification.

The GOC qualification is required for persons who have radio communication duties onboard a GMDSS equipped ship. Primarily it is aimed at Merchant Navy deck officers, commercial yachtmasters and offshore radio operators.

Once qualified GMDSS GOC holders are licensed to operate marine radio equipment


Delivery of the course is through a combination of theory and practical lessons. During the course extensive use is made of twelve touchscreen TRANSAS GMDSS radio simulators.


The course involves the theory and operation of the following pieces of equipment:

  • VHF digital selective calling (DSC) and radio telephony (RT)
  • MF/HF digital selective calling (DSC) and radio telephony (RT)
  • Inmarsat Ship Earth Station (SES)
  • Emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB)
  • Radar Transponders (SART)
  • NAVTEX receiver
  • Types of radio aerial
  • Maintenance and safety with regards to radio batteries


During the course you will learn the duties of a GMDSS radio operator including:

  • Distress communication procedures, including Search and Rescue duties
  • Urgency and safety communication procedures
  • General radio communication procedures
  • Use of Admiralty List of Radio Signals
  • Use of the phonetic alphabet and standard marine navigation vocabulary
  • How to avoid harmful interference
  • Propagation of radio signals

Entry Requirements top

Minimum age of 18 years.

Assessment top

Assessment takes place over the final two days of the course and is carried out on site by external AMERC examiners (on behalf of the MCA).

The assessment consists of theory and practical examinations in the use of GMDSS radio equipment and publications.

The theory exam combines short written answers with multiple choice questions. The practical examinations involve performing a range of tasks on simulated and live marine communications equipment. These examinations are based on tasks which a radio operator would be required to perform at sea.

Professional Opportunities top

This course is required to obtain an Unlimited OOW Certificate of Competence.

Further Information top

To apply for this course please call the Marine Booking Centre on 0191 427 3772 or email: marinebooking@tynecoast.ac.uk 


Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.